November 9, 2009

To The European External Policy Advisory

115 Rue Stevin

1000 Brussels


Dear members of the EEPA,

We take this opportunity to extend our wish that the EU-US 2009 meeting will be a beginning of an ongoing consultation on the Horn of Africa in general and the deepening Eritrea national crisis and its implication to the people of Eritrea, the region and world peace in particular.

The need for EU and US to hold a badly needed conversation on Eritrea is obvious enough that we are in favor of it but the question should focus on why it took so long to undertake this kind of initiative and what foundation will be formatted to continue the conversation moving forward.

Now that the effort to conduct a dialogue has started we would like to add our voice in support of the overall effort but at the same time extend our modest suggestion for future engagements to open a wider space to the Diaspora Eritrean civil and political actors so that the conversation can be more productive and will have the benefit of accessing a wide range of divers opinions and perspective within the Eritrean Diaspora community.

It will be unwise for us to burden you effort by enumerating the extensive list of abuse heaped on our people by the ruling Eritrean regime. It suffices to say that the direct evidence is the fact that the number of Eritrean refugees and immigrants fleeing to Europe and USA has increased exponentially in the last few years. Chances are that the momentum will only increase as the situation in Eritrea goes from bad to worse.

We feel one of the most important recommendation to come out of this meeting will be a more liberal refugee settlement and immigrant accommodation policy by EU and US for Eritreans who are fleeing their country.

We hope the EEPA organized conference will be able to come up with constructive policy suggestions that will take into full account the suffering of the Eritrean people. Without making the pain and suffering of the Eritrean people central to the agenda of the conversation we feel the meeting no matter how successful will fall short of its full potential.

Let us keep the channel of communication open.

Looking forward to hear the positive results of the meeting,




Seyoum Tesfaye

Chairman of Eritrean Global Solidarity